The Artist Birthday Series

Otto Freundlich

Today’s Artist Birthday: Otto Freundlich

Otto Freundlich, was a sculptor and a Jewish-German constructivist painter, and one of the organizers of the first Dada exhibition in Cologne, Germany. One of the many artists targets by the Nazis during World War II, he escaped to France and went into hiding but was later betrayed, captured and sent an extermination camp where he was murdered upon arrival.


Otto Freundlich was born July 10, 1878 in Stolp in Germany (today Slupsk, Poland). He initially was studying to become a dentist but then discovered his passion for art. Continuing his education, he devoted himself to History of Art, Philosophy and Literature, in Berlin. Between June and August 1905, he crossed the Alps on foot to travel to Florence, where he remained until November of that year.

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2 thoughts on “Otto Freundlich

  1. here here!
    why was this man omitted from MOMA’s big 2013 Abstraction Show?
    an egregious error if their remit is the emergence of “Western” abstract art.
    and such a poignant story to boot, the refugee pacifist German betrayed by the French, France where he had worked so much, not least his iconic, front rank 1911 abstract image, yes 1911, still hanging Paris.

    1. Thanks for the comment William. It has been a very interesting journey compiling these bios, and some stories, such as Freundlich’s, need to be told before they are lost to history all together. My main goal with this project was to find artists that I found inspiring for various reasons, and celebrate them here. I tried to focus on the more obscure or “forgotten” artists, though some well known artists have inspired me immensely and so they are celebrated as well. But it is comments such as yours that make this project so worthwhile for me…thank you so much!

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